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Deer hunting has already started in many parts of the country or is about to kick off everywhere else, and an ATV can be a useful tool to help make it a successful season. While there are lots of reasons to use an ATV in your hunt, there appear to be just as many arguments against it. Most people with an opinion on the matter fall decisively into one camp or the other.
An ATV gives you access to remote or impassable areas that are not reachable by truck or too far on foot. If you set up miles away from home base or your pickup truck, as opposed to yards, you want to have a quicker means of getting there than on foot.
Using an all-terrain vehicle allows you to haul equipment and supplies to isolated areas with lots of storage space. ATV accessories like an ATV cargo box or specialized carrier like a gun rack work great for keeping your gear clean, dry, secure and organized and are especially nice for transporting heavy or cumbersome items like tree stands.
Four wheelers are invaluable for carrying your deer back to your vehicle or cabin and a much better option than dragging a buck or doe by hand over muddy, rough or steep terrain, or across streams or creeks. However, there are also non-motorized options for this, such as a pull-behind hand cart designed specifically to traverse wooded and grassy areas.
Hunters with disabilities often benefit greatly from the use of an ATV or quad during hunting season. For some, the use of one is the difference between being able to participate in the hunt or not at all and is the only means of getting to their stand.
Most hunters using ATVs make it a point to leave some distance between their ATV and their stand, but others report taking quite the opposite approach. Some sportsmen actually park their ATV in tall grass, top the machine with a camouflage cover and sit behind It like a blind. In some areas, deer populations are already used to the sounds and smells of the local farmers’ machinery, or hunters take the time to make regular, frequent trips with their ATV to their hunting stands in order to get the deer acclimatized to its sound and smell. However, the temperament and tolerance of the herd you are hunting will dictate whether this could be a successful strategy for your area.
First and foremost, you should know the local regulations regarding ATV use or the preference of the landowner where you hunt, since many public lands prohibit the use of ATVs. It would also be a smart strategy to find out your neighbor’s viewpoint on the matter, too, to keep the peace when tensions may run high.
The obvious objections to four-wheelers in the woods during hunting season are the noise, smell and footprint left behind by an ATV when a trail is disrupted or torn up. Fumes from an ATV may carry not just in the area surrounding the machine but also on your clothes, though walking into the woods may help minimize the scent. The noise issue may be improved with an add-on, secondary muffler, which can quiet ATV exhaust noise by up to 50% and without any sacrifice in performance.
Some hunters claim that the use of ATVs in hunting areas (even out of season) keep deer away, spook them or diminish the numbers of mature deer who will occupy your territory. Others, however, have had the opposite experience, and have downed a mature buck within 100 yards of a parked ATV.
For the purists, part of the hunting experience is to get as close to nature as possible; that includes using your legs and all your senses to their fullest to take in every detail possible. Driving past nature doesn’t allow the same experience, and you may miss a lot! Sometimes, the sound of total silence can be the payoff, whether you fill your tag or not.
Reminders for Hunting with Four Wheelers
Should you decide that you want to use an all-terrain vehicle for your hunting endeavors, here a few things to keep in mind:
Learn the local laws in your hunting area regarding the use of ATVs on public land. On private land, find out the landowner’s decree for riding four-wheelers in his kingdom, as well as having at least an awareness of the neighbors’ positions on the matter.
Stay on established trails and roads, and avoid widening that trail by unnecessarily driving around obstacles that can be crossed over.
Steer clear of stands as much as possible, preferably, driving part of the distance, then walking in the last leg on foot.
Limit your ATV driving time to coincide with off-peak activity hours of the deer. Plan ahead to drive in well before sunrise, and wait until after dark to return. The less disruption, the better.
Be safe! This includes driving with unloaded, secured weapons, riding slowly while keeping an eye out for other hunters on foot and wearing the necessary protective gear. Make sure your rig is outfitted properly with tools in the event of a breakdown and a GPS if you are covering unfamiliar territory.
Be aware of how additional weight on your ATV racks or cargo boxes affects the machine’s handling and responsiveness. An overloaded ATV, combined with steep hills, can make a vehicle tippy.
A Happy Medium?
A modified approach seems to work for many. For example, consider using an ATV to retrieve downed game at the hunt’s conclusion or just off-season for utility, recreation and hunting preparations like hanging stands, raking trails or preparing food plots; hoofing it for the initial trek out to your stand creates the least amount of disturbance.
An electric golf cart could also be a possible alternative. While a golf cart won’t have the power or traction of an ATV on certain terrain or in wet or snowy conditions, it doesn’t have the noise or odor, either. Golf cart accessories for the outdoorsman, such as gun carriers or bow holders, also help to make this a more appealing option.
Sometimes getting your ATV to your destination can be half the battle, and the hunting hasn’t even started! Use the right equipment to haul your four-wheeler for a hassle-free and enjoyable outdoor adventure.
If a pickup truck is your mode of transportation, a good set of ATV loading ramps (and not some spindly 2 x 4’s) can’t be beat. Don’t just “make-do” with scraps you have on hand, and take care of your equipment. Otherwise, a hitch-mounted ATV carrier is another option, so that the bed of the truck remains available for all the other gear and equipment you need to take along on your hunt.
For the larger-scale expedition that requires the use of a trailer, trailer ATV ramps let you load your four-wheeler quickly and without blowing out your back. Save the work for climbing into your tree stand.
Have a safe and productive hunt!
Discount Ramps is proud to offer the Kolpin Contoured Cargo Box, model number 93200. This cargo box allows you to easily carry two adult helmets with plenty of room to spare. The stylish ATV Cargo Box by Kolpin features a wrap around design that helps contour to your back, while fitting neatly on the back rack of your ATV. The rear of the Kolpin Contoured box hugs the back of the seat giving you a little back rest and providing clearance without extending beyond the edge of the rear rack.
Constructed of durable polyethylene, the Kolpin Contoured Cargo Box features a weather-tight gasket that seals out mud, dirt, and debris, keeping all of your gear safe and dry. Dual cam-lock latches are recessed into the Cargo Box and provide a secure, tight closure and accept all standard locks. Rhino Rib reinforcement provides extra strength, mile after mile. The Kolpin Storage Box installs quick and easy, with a few u-bolts, directly to your rear luggage rack. The measurements of this Cargo Box are 36.5 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 13 inches high, which gives you 3 cubic feet of extra storage space. The wrap around design makes this box a great option for use on two-up machines, like the Can-Am Outlander. This new wrap around design for the Cargo Box comes with Kolpin’s Kwick-Cinch system which is sold separately.
If you would like to learn more about the Kolpin Contoured Cargo Box, please visit our Hard ATV Luggage and Storage Racks website. If the Contoured Cargo Box does not fit your needs, Discount Ramps offers a wide variety of Hard Storage Racks for your ATV. With so many designs to choose from, we promise that we have something you want at the best prices.
Discount Ramps is proud to offer the Kolpin Front/Rear Gear Boxes, model number 93100 for the normal sized gear box and 93150 for the large gear box! These gear boxes are rugged and great for hunting tools, clothing, beverages, and other gear on your ATV rack. These highly styled boxes give you room for all of your gear and then some; you could easily fit two adult sized helmets, clothes, and a 12 pack of your favorite beverage. Overall, these weather resistant, durable Front/Rear Gear Boxes from Kolpin make traveling with your gear or supplies down the trails safe and easy.
The Kolpin Front or Rear Gear Box is constructed from a durable polyethylene plastic that is designed to take a beating and keep coming back for more. A weather tight gasket is used around the brim and is designed to allow the box to seal up super tight, thus keeping out mud, water, dirt, and other debris. The double recessed Cam-Lock latches are used with these boxes to give you a secure, extra tight closure while allowing you to use all standard locks. If you do not use the Kolpin Kwick-Cinch system, you can attach these storage units to your ATV with bungee cords or ratchet straps. The normal sized box measures 32.5 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 8.5 inches high; the larger box measures 32 inches long, 13.75 long, and about a foot in height. The normal sized box gives 2.4 cubic feet of accessible storage, and the larger box 3 cubic feet. The durable, exclusive Rhino Rib reinforcement on the box itself gives you a great look while keeping your box protected.
Each one of Kolpin’s products, such as the Front/Rear Gear Boxes, can be used with the Kolpin Kwick-Cinch System. Sold separately, this system lets you easily and timely switch out hard storage devices with the pull of a strap. Two steel mounting plates are used to attached to the storage system you are using. You secure the straps to the attachment plate and the rack on your ATV and switch them out as you please. This system is great if you use multiple hard shelled storage accessories because it is easy to use and saves your precious time. The model number, when ordering this system by Kolpin, is 98400.
If you would like more information or pricing on the Kolpin Front/Rear Gear Boxes, please visit our Hard ATV Luggage and storage website. If this product is not right for you, Discount Ramps offers many other storage units and ATV Accessories that you may be interested in.
Discount Ramps is proud to offer the Kolpin ATV Bucket Storage Box. The ATV Bucket Storage Box is available with or without a front box. The Discount Ramps model number is 4404 for the Kolpin ATV storage bucket with molded pockets that fit two 5 gallon bucks and storage compartments that are almost one cubic foot. Discount Ramps model number 4420 is for the Kolpin Bucket Storage with a front box that will fit two five gallon buckets; the storage compartments are the same at .97 cubic feet of space each, while the front box is 1.65 cubic feet of space. This storage box features a backrest, drink holders, and side storage compartments, and is also available with our without the front box. Overall, This storage box is utterly useful, ruggedly built and a breeze to install.
Heavy duty, rotomolded, and uv-stabilized LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) construction provides piece of mind mile after mile. They easily mount to tubular or composite racks using four U-bolts and sealing washers, or can be used with the Kwik-Cinch System (sold separately). With almost 3 feet of cubic foot space you will have enough space for everything you need on the trails. The ATV storage bucket without the front box measures 48.25 inches in length, 25.375 inches in width, and13.5 inches in height. If you get the storage box that comes with the front box, the measurements are the same except the front box measures 28 inches in width, 12 inches in length, and has a height of 8.5 inches. The weather resistant storage compartments feature draw tight latches for easy removal and maximum protection of your gear.
If you would like to learn more about the Kolpin ATV storage box or would like to place an order, please visit our Hard ATV Luggage and Storage website. Discount Ramps also recommends the Kolpin Kwick Cinch System which allows you to quickly and easily switch out hard storage accessories. Included in the kit is two steel mounting plates and two straps. You attach the plates to your storage accessories and secure the straps to the attachment plate and your rack; cinch the cam-lock buckle to secure the utility boxes. The model number for the Kolpin Kwick-Cinch system is 98400. If you would like to learn more, please visit our Kwick Cinch website. Discount Ramps also recommends the Kolpin Kwick Light, this light is a small LED light that features an adhesive back and uses a push design for on and off. This light is great for storage boxes, garages, cabinets and more.